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The Importance of a Positive Mindset of a Dentist

March 22, 2023

6 min read

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Author : United We Care
The Importance of a Positive Mindset of a Dentist

Introduction

Is tooth pain getting you down because it warrants a trip to the dentist? When visiting a dentist, you are not alone in anxiety, nervousness, and procrastination. However, have you ever imagined yourself in the dentist’s shoes? The emotions that you portray have an impact on your dentist too.An article in the British Dental Journal [1] has stated that dentists face tremendous stress and pressure due to the nature of their job, which affects their practice. Hence, a positive mindset can help overcome the ill effects of stress and anxiety. What exactly is a positive attitude? How can one overcome the stressors one faces in one’s day-to-day life? Can we learn something from the mentality of dentists and their practice of having a positive mindset? How will this affect me as a patient? Read on to know more.

The Dentist Mindset

Mindset is a mental attitude that determines how one response to particular situations. In a dental clinic, if a patient cringes before you even start the procedure, it may frustrate you or empathise with them. How one reacts to a situation depends on one’s mindset.As a dentist, one faces several challenges,[2] as mentioned below:

  • Poor work-life balance due to long working hours
  • Dissatisfied patients may affect your mental health.
  • Time pressures due to long wait times and complicated dental procedures
  • Team issues like lack of communication and teamwork can affect the team and patient care.
  • Physical stress due to prolonged standing and static procedures
  • Self-inflicted stressors. Aiming to be perfect and having high expectations of oneself can further affect one’s mindset and a dentist’s mentality.

To overcome these challenges, the mindset of a dentist needs to be strong and positive. If one can identify the weaknesses and play to one’s strengths, overcoming the challenges to ensure positive coping and healthy well-being is not so tough.

The Importance of a Positive Mindset for a Dentist

How will a positive mindset affect a dentist, their practice, and patient care? Imagine a scenario where you are in the dentist’s chair after procrastinating a dental procedure. If the dentist is warm and calm, this will put your mind at ease. Thus, a positive mindset can positively influence patient care.A happy, calm, and communicative dentist will make one want to return to that particular dentist. Contrarily if a dentist is frustrated, reserved, and stressed, no matter how good one may be at the clinical aspects, the patient may not want to return to such a dentist. Thus, the mentality of a dentist plays a vital role in a patient’s mind. Negative thoughts can also creep into one’s mind. However, instead of blaming others or magnifying minor problems, practicing positive self-talk [3] and surrounding oneself with positive people can help teach a positive mindset to a dentist. It, in turn, can also enhance patient care and one’s health and well-being.

The Power of Visualisation for a Dentist

Debasish Mridha [4] has said, “If you can dream it, think about it, visualise it, then you can manifest it.”  So, what is visualisation, and how can one achieve it?Visualisation is forming a mental image of a particular thing, and it can be an expectation, accomplishment, or even an exploration of a concept. Visualising a positive outcome can be beneficial for a dentist facing several stressors.But how does visualisation work? How can a dentist or any other individual facing stress ensure that visualisation is used to relieve it? The following methods ensure one gets into the “visualisation mode” to overcome anxiety and provide a positive mentality.

  • Meditation will help guide one through different phases in one’s life, and it helps one imagine oneself in these future scenarios and the role one can play to ensure a positive outcome and mental health.
  • Writing down daily affirmations helps one’s mind accept that the positive outcome has already or will occur shortly. Being in this positive mindset will help attain a positive mentality of a dentist, which will, in turn, reap positive benefits for those around them.
  • A vision board is an excellent visualisation process of putting one’s goals, thoughts, and aspirations onto a board by depicting them visually. It has been found to increase motivation, improve confidence, and empower one.

Overcoming the Negative Mindset of a Dentist

As a dentist, the stressors and challenges that one faces, as mentioned above, may lead to a defeatist mentality and mindset. However, possessing the tools and knowledge to overcome this harmful mindset is crucial. The following are a few ways to overcome a negative [5] attitude and improve the mentality of a dentist.

Overcoming the Negative Mindset of a Dentist

  • Identify negative thoughts- Identifying negative thoughts like anxiety, depression, stress, and low self-esteem will help one identify one’s weaknesses to work on them.
  • Replace negative thoughts with positive ones- By reflecting on prior experiences, how one handled previous situations, and looking for alternative explanations, negative reviews can be replaced with more positive ones, thus enhancing a positive mentality of a dentist.
  • Battle negative thoughts with mindfulness- Mindfulness is becoming more aware of how one’s beliefs affect one’s emotions and behaviours. Mindfulness has been seen to reduce negative thinking, and practising mindfulness allows one to control feelings and adapt positively to adverse situations.

Conclusion

Just like a dentist, we may face challenges in our own life. Whether dealing with the stress of professional, personal, or issues, having a positive mindset can help turn around negative situations as one will visualise them more positively. Using visualisation and mindfulness can overcome negativity and difficult situations.As a dentist, one can achieve a positive mentality by following the tips mentioned above and reap tremendous benefits not only to one’s personal and professional life but also to the team members and the patients. As Philipp Reiter has rightly said, “A positive mindset brings positive things.” Being positive does not cost a thing.Smile and make the world smile more beautifully.

References

  1. More than half of dentists say stress is affecting their practice,” Br. Dent. J., vol. 226, no. 1, p. 7, 2019.
  2. American Orthodontic Society, “Burnout: The biggest challenge most dentists face and how to overcome it,” The American Orthodontic Society, 25-Aug-2021.
  3. “Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress,” Mayo Clinic, 03-Feb-2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2023].
  4. “Debasish Mridha, MD,” Debasishmridha.com. [Online]. Available: https://www.debasishmridha.com/. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2023].
  5. A. Cuncic, “Negative thoughts: How to stop them,” Verywell Mind, 31-Jan-2012. [Online]. Available: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-change-negative-thinking-3024843. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2023].
  6. J. Cho, “The science behind how mindfulness can help break negative thought patterns,” Forbes, 27-Dec-2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeenacho/2016/12/27/the-science-behind-how-mindfulness-helps-you-to-break-negative-thought-patterns/?sh=726e33044119.[Accessed: 06-Mar-2023].

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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